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H&A Ranked #10 in List of Top San Diego PR Firms

Heying & Associates has landed a spot in San Diego Business Journal’s list of top 10 Public Relations Agencies in the area for 2018. Announced just after the New Year, H&A has jumped three spots ahead from last year’s list, and five spots ahead from the 2017 rankings. SDBJ provides its readers with hundreds of the greatest area companies in their fields by ranking each year.

To learn more about the San Diego Business Journal’s Book of Lists, click here.

Instagram Puts Stop to Fake Followers, Comments and Likes

In an attempt to put an end to automated apps that help users artificially grow their followers, Instagram is sending a warning to those users to change their password and cut ties with the inauthentic follows. Several techniques used to give the illusion that audiences are larger than they actually are include fake likes and comments, and following then unfollowing others in an attempt to get a “follow back.”

Utilizing a machine learning tool, Instagram will begin identifying accounts that use these third-party apps, which directly violates its Community Guidelines and Terms of Use.

21st Annual Garfield Thanksgiving Luncheon

Congratulations to Garfield High School on another successful Thanksgiving Luncheon at the Prado. Each year Garfield Culinary Arts students work alongside the Prado chefs and banquet staff to put on a grand Thanksgiving luncheon for the community, generously sponsored by the Garfield High School Foundation and Cohn Restaurant Group. Garfield High School works to prepare all their students to graduate with the skills, motivation, curiosity and resilience to succeed in their choice of college and career in order to lead and participate in the society of tomorrow.

5 Mistakes Law Firms Make When Advertising Online

When it comes to Google Advertising, the competition is big and the pressure for results is high. Law firms can spend anywhere from $10 to over $500 per click so the key is to focus your marketing dollars in the areas closely aligned with your expertise and with the highest profits. Let’s go over the major mistakes most law firms are making with Google Advertising:

Unfocused Campaign and Keyword Strategy.

Most law firms would say that their practice area covers a little bit of everything. However, trying to advertise that on Google when your marketing budget is limited won’t work. Clicks are too expensive, and you will end up spreading your budget too thin to excel in any specific area. The first step to avoid this mistake is answering the question: What types of cases produce the most revenue for your firm? Or, what area of practice would you like to expand this year? Stick to effective advertising in one or two areas of practice before trying to expand too quickly. Furthermore, it is important to target keywords that show “buying” intent. The more general the keyword, the less buying intent you can assume.

Not Writing Effective Content.

The biggest mistake law firms make when writing ads is not writing to be noticed. The worst ad is the one people skim right by while clicking on the competitor. Here are some tips to stand out:

  • Include parentheses, brackets and numbers in your headlines
  • Mention specific offers or discounts
  • Utilize testimonials or direct quotes
  • Create a call to action for your audience
  • Keep your ads local and individualized to target specific cities
  • Advertise how you can help

Not Having Consistent and Compelling Landing Pages.

A compelling ad is what gets your potential client in the door. Then, the first thing the user sees after clicking an ad is your landing page, and it will be the first real impression they will have of your practice. Many law firms link their ads to their website homepages, but did the user search for everything you have to offer? No! They searched for a specific service they are looking for and they don’t want to waste time looking at all the other services. Here are some techniques for making sure your landing pages are designed to convert visitors into clients:

  • Focus on the benefits you provide clients
  • Have a strong headline that demonstrates your values immediately
  • Differentiate yourself from competitors and explain clearly what sets you apart
  • Include positive client testimonials
  • Make contact information easy to find

Not Tracking Leads Through to Actual Cases.

Your law firm should know how many of your clients came from a Google ad click and how much revenue your Paid search accounted for. This information is absolutely critical to making optimizations that make a difference, but most law firms can’t answer those questions.

Not Testing for Viability and Optimizing for Profitability.

Law firms often want to start by bidding on a wide range of keywords with low bids, so they can learn which areas are profitable before committing more budget. However, this approach can actually ensure that no specific keywords get enough traffic to learn anything useful, so firms conclude that advertising doesn’t work for them and give up. The best way is testing for viability and then optimizing for profitability. Focus on a very small core of keywords to begin with and bid for the top spot on the search results page. It will allow you to quickly test whether or not a keyword can actually produce the types of leads you want for your practice.

If your law firm steers clear of these 5 “DON’Ts,” your campaigns will create a bigger impact on potential clients than your competition – for less money!

5 Reasons Why Your Law Firm Should Have a Blog

Reach Potential Clients

When creating your law firm’s website, a blog or “News” section is a useful tool that is easy to implement. Assuming it is maintained consistently, it will provide a space on your site that is always updated. Not only does it keep your site current, but adding content regularly is one of the top SEO techniques for bringing more web traffic to your site.

Highlight Client Communication

Studies show that clients value clear and concise communication from their attorneys more than anything else. It is a known fact that the ability to communicate effectively with clients has a large impact on a lawyer’s practice, and on the success of the law firm at large. Maintaining a blog on your law firm’s website is a great way to show current and prospective clients the breadth of your knowledge and a bit of your personality. Choose topics that your clients might find interesting and helpful as well as stories they might not have otherwise seen.

Develop Valuable Content

Adding a blog to your website is just the beginning. Not only is it necessary to populate that blog with content and current news stories, it is also paramount that the information you share has quality. If you don’t have the time to write a long two-page story, develop a few solid paragraphs with how this news story is relevant to your audience. Quality trumps quantity. If you struggle coming up with blog topics, a great place to start is with your FAQ’s. What do your current and prospective clients want to know? That’s who you’re writing for after all.

Showcase What Your Law Firm Has to Offer

While showcasing your attorneys and current hot topics in the media as they relate to your practice is a great way to feed your blog, success stories and big case wins are another great route to take. In today’s market, people trust word-of-mouth and customer reviews more than any other indicator. Sharing the triumphs of your firm not only conveys your efficiency and professional abilities, but it also shows that you care.

It Is Affordable and Sustainable

Setting up a blog in this day in age is easier and more cost-effective than ever. WordPress is by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with more than 82 million active users. Not only is it free, but it also comes with several templates to help establish the design of your blog, as well as countless plugins and add-ons free of charge. To learn more about WordPress and other blogging platforms, click here.

How to Build (and Maintain) Good Relationships with the Media

 

  1. Remember That Their Time Is Valuable

A journalist’s time is just as valuable as yours and you should act accordingly. Show that you respect their time by avoiding irrelevant phone calls that will only waste time. Journalists find nothing more annoying than someone calling for a chat, especially when they’re on deadline. A phone call is usually the best way to reach someone, but if the person sounds hurried, ask if they’re up for it, and if not, end the call and shoot over an email.

 

  1. Respect Their Deadlines

There’s nothing more useless than a reply to an email, weeks or months later accepting the invitation for an interview when the story has already passed. In the world of journalism, deadlines are a matter of days not weeks. As a result, you should treat a first contact as urgent, and you should be clear about deadlines as early in the discussion as possible.

 

  1. Effectively Follow-up

The average journalist gets hundreds of emails a day so don’t take it personally if you don’t get a response right away. Chances are, you fell to the bottom of their list and they’re too busy to respond right away. So, what’s the next step? They key is following up, while being mindful and respectful of the fact they must balance an array of competing priorities and other stories. Always follow-up the next day in hopes of a response. If you do not hear back (and if time allows), wait a week for your next attempt. Another option is to try sending your follow-up at a different time and day of the week than your initial email. If the problem is that the email is simply not reaching the person at the right time, try sending it in the afternoon, rather than morning. Lastly, trying a follow-up phone call can at times be more convenient for the journalist you are trying to reach. Instead of being under piles of emails, they can offer immediate feedback to your inquiry and no one is wasting the others time.

 

  1. Use Your Website

Journalists use the internet to do their research. It is important to have a professional website for anyone who visits, so information about what your company does can be visible and accessed easily. A user-friendly and informational website should be organized for visitors to browse through your site and find the information they’re looking for. Eliminate dead links, showcase your credibility by listing out your awards and accomplishments and utilize professional photography to give your site a more polished look.

 

  1. Be a Media-Friendly Company

Whether it is a receptionist, front-of-house staff or anyone else who answers the phone, make sure every member of your team can effectively communicate with journalists, so answers can be given swiftly and no one has to play “phone tag.”